OMG, I’m sorry girls, this is going to be a long one.
Jacky – what worries me, is that they are not been accountable for their actions with what happened in your situation with the sperm & are avoiding addressing it, there’s usually only 1 or 2 reasons someone will avoid answering a question.
With the transfer, we were left in the room too, but she did say she would give me 10 minutes and then come back for us. She was really nice (cant remember her name) – I know it doesn’t help, but maybe she got busy and forgot L. I would feel like you too. It’s a huge moment and not to be walked back out, or at least told, “just pop your things back on when your ready and head out to reception”.
I too have heard Vitalab is very good in JBurg.
I’m not wishing to open up a can of worms here, I am relieved there has been support from everyone to be honest on this forum. This forum saved me in the early days – there is so much information & support here. It is a gold mine for anyone travelling to overseas for ED.
I am currently feeling like I need to question the lab techniques, processes, experience of embryologist a bit more… just due to a few things I’ve noticed & heard. But have no idea how to go about it without risking been “noted” as trouble. This in itself worries me greatly, as we are paying thousands of dollars and should be able to ask these questions and get the answers we need. Eg, things like how did it ever happen to Jodi that she found out on a subsequent trip to SA that there was a frozen embryo from her first donor cycle – and she didn’t know about it? Consequently, they went through another whole new cycle and donor.
I have my concerns at the moment with the Doctors opinion and the lab. I recently queried the use of donor sperm myself, due to DH’s very poor semen (we just flew up to Sydney & back from Melbourne on Saturday to get it tested & have a DNA Fragmentation test, on the recommendation of a reproductive immunologist I am consulting with in the U.S. She wanted it tested based on slow growing embryos from day 3 – 5).
When I questioned if we would need donor sperm as we were worried about DNA Fragmentation, this was the answer we got, remembering they didn’t have our latest report;
“I went back in your file and on your previous cycle your fertilisation rate were 70% which is very good. At this stage you don’t have any medical reason to use donor sperm. I have also seen a report in your file for the straws that was frozen and your husband’s sperm is good enough to use. I also confirmed this with the lab before giving you feedback on this”.
....However, when we were there, they said that the embryos did really well until Day 3, and then they petered out & it was quite odd, they didn’t really know why. They said it wouldn’t be a sperm issue as we wouldn’t have achieved any fertilisation if that was the case, however, if you research DNA Fragmentation, it is clear that it causes slow growing embryos from Day 3 – 5 when the paternal gene is switched on prior to blastocyst.
CFC obviously don’t know this, or maybe they don’t think it’s an issue? I would have thought they should have suggested a test like this for us – we didn’t know anything about it, until my immune specialist recommended it.
This link explains DNA Fragmentation:
I also am very concerned about Dr Le Roux’s response to my question about getting my endometriosis looked at prior to another cycle, he said:
“Endometriosis is not important for egg donation treatment. We will place the embryos directly into the uterus and not go near the ovary where the endometriosis tissue is found. I would not advise you to have any surgery etc prior to your egg donation treatment for endometriosis and a scan is not really going to change this for us”
This reply floored me. It is common knowledge that endometriosis can be a fertility issue and the other thing that worried me was he said about my ovary…. The reports I sent to him say nothing about my ovaries – I don’t have endo in my ovaries.
I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that I think they are just a straight IVF/ED clinic, and as Blinky said you’ve really got to be your own advocate & do your own research well. Though I would have thought endometriosis and DNA Frag results, are fundamental to a successful cycle.
I asked a couple that we stayed with whilst over there, to be totally honest with me (they have numerous IVF couples staying with them some sadly 4 times now) what they thought of CFC – and thankfully she was honest. She felt they have got too busy to be as good as they used to be a few years ago. She said she is no expert, but she has noticed it with some of the things she hears from ladies attending the clinic, both local and overseas recipitants & maybe that the success rates had dropped in recent years.
I also had a good chat with the lovely reception ladies whilst I was there, and it is a similar theme coming through from them. They work back after hours and don’t get paid for it, they see things going on but don’t speak up, as they feel they are “just the receptionists” & they hear all about it from us, but don’t speak up. I felt quite sorry for them, as they obviously love their jobs but are extremely busy.
Anyways, the only reason I am sharing this, is so that you are aware of my experience and some others that have travelled over several times. Please look at the DNA Fragmentation link, I think it is as important as NK Cell testing & it’s not expensive and it all makes a lot of sense once you start researching it.
I am going back, as I do believe at the end of the day, all you need is a good strong embryo, but remembering, the lab's expertise & culture medium that they grow them in, plays one of the most important roles in creating those embryos. I also have to realise I cant control everything ! !!
Last edited by sootymay; 22-02-2014 at 10:18.
Hi Sooty, they also don't offer an immune protocol, I'm adding that on myself. I think by the time most of us get to DE we know what our issues are and as you said CFC is good for basic IVF and DE treatments at a reasonable cost. I have had ****ty and neglectful clinics here in Aus so am prepared to ask questions and get answers.
I guess if you had the money you would go to the US and use who Karen recommends, but at the end of the day CFC is the best and sometimes only option (for me at least) for someone with 15k to throw at this process. I'm glad I have had a lot of testing prior to going and know now this is probably as good as it's going to get for my odds of a positive.
Blinky I totally agree with what you said - you have to be your own advocate.
I for one am staying positive, and I'm excited to be going, and I'm fully prepared that I may need to go back a second time. I'm also going to enjoy the holiday and just hope for the best after all it is a leap of faith.
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Jack's post and the responses have prompted me to add my views too about CFC.
In general the level of communication was pretty good leading up to the cycle and quite average once we arrived. However, we felt that all the important parts - the procedures - were well handled ( as far as we could tell!). We weren't informed about the number of eggs collected until our fertilisation report and they were also quite vague on the grading of the eggs both during the cycle and after when we were seeking answers as to why the cycle failed. Even now we haven't specifically been told the grading ( note to self - keep chasing this up).
Probably the most annoying thing for me was a few off-hand comments my Dr said about the donor. Our donor produced 6 eggs for our cycle. I asked Dr W if he was happy with this response. He replied, oh Donor Xx, she's the one who always produces lots of eggs. I replied , err well in our case it was 6. His response was, oh no, that's right Donor XX is the one who always gets the recipient pregnant. Well actually, before us it was a one in three success rate. My point is, I found it to be quite off hand and slightly evasive.
However, this anecdote is probably more a reflection on me than the clinic. He's a busy Dr in a busy clinic. We chose the donor, we used DH's sperm, and we didn't get the result we wanted. These important factors were totally in our control. Everything procedure went as we expected and seemed professional. I didn't enjoy his lecture to me about elements of Dr Ms protocol, but that's another story.
My point is similar to others - we have invested so much hope, expectation and money into the process we want everything to be perfect. They are super busy and a few things were jarring personally, but I trust all the back of house stuff was professionally handled. Ultimately it is up to us to advocate for ourselves and to speak up when we aren't happy with a process.
We are returning in March and have high hopes again. And as soon as I finish this post, I'll be emailing the clinic to chase up on the embryology reports!
I hope I haven't come across as overwhelmingly negative - that was not my intention. We just need to go into the process with eyes wide open and to speak up when we want to know more or are sure of a response.
Finally, if this cycle doesn't bring the success we want, we'll do more immune testing in US and then head to Czech for a ED final tilt. We plan to go to Europe simply because it will be nice to have a holiday in a different place, not because we don't have faith in CFC.
Good luck Angelmama and also to Sooty when it's your turn.
Keep the faith ladies, never stop believing we can achieve our dreams.
Thanks girls, I think its great to share your honest opinions. I also wasn't happy with my Dr's comments (Dr Heylen), or lack of them. He would not answer, after several times of asking him point blank, to his face, before and after transfer, and even whilst lying there with legs up - what is the grading of the embryos, do you hold much hope. In the end I got the answer from Dr Le Roux when I had intralipids, and he personally went and asked the lab. One of the main reasons I changed Dr's - as I couldn't have been any more to the point, and he kept avoiding the answer.
I also totally agree, we would be going the U.S. or the Hawaii if we had the money. A 10-15k trip to SA is cheap compared to all the other countries I looked into. And it is a fabulous place to visit - I am looking forward to going back & I liked it so much, I would even consider living there
That's right, they don't really believe in the NK Cell treatment, they'll go along with it, but that's about it. I'm not telling them about any of my treatment.
Girls - don't forget Effie is on 60 minutes tomorrow night, with her little baby girl, after numerous ED attempts - will be an emotional watch I am sure.
Ladies, I think that you have to stand up and question EVERYTHING. Sooty, after what you went through with your last cycle, if that were me I would have been all over them for a free cycle or at the very least a huge discount off the next cycle.
We place so much faith in people that we don't know in a country which is half way around the word. You have to be your own advocate and ask every question in the book until you are satisfied with the answer.
I had a horrendous time with the Dr we had originally used at our IVF clinic in Australia and I took them to task on it and got two free cycles and PGD testing provided by the clinic. Things had gone that wrong for us.. and Drs had stuffed up and been completely negligent on so many levels that I can't even begin to tell you.
At the end of the day, what each and every one of us need to go to SA knowing is that there is unfortunately no guarantee with IVF procedures anywhere in the world. There is always a risk that you could strike the very best Dr on his very worst day... but if you do, don't be a shy wallflower about stepping forward and demanding what you have paid so much money for. In my best experience, the squeaky wheel really does get the most oil.
Good luck for next week Angel. x
Has anyone else had really sore breasts from the progynova and synarel? Never had it this bad with my Ivf cycles.
One more sleep, feeling very apprehensive now, no going back!
Good luck angelmama.
Jacks I wish you the best of luck and lots of baby dust, I hope to hear your squeals all the way over here in Sydney, please let us know how you get on with Medfem and your trip in general as I'm sure others will be interested in another option.
Angelmama good luck for your upcoming trip.
Sooty I am sorry you felt that negative posts aren't welcome. People do have issues when they cycle, sharing the negative side in a constructive manner helps others and prepares them, gives them a basis to form their decision, this journey is so daunting for all of us. However, the particular post in question was not written in a constructive manner and I personally found it highly offensive. Attacking the country, its people and the Drs personal life to try and sway others from their own journeys is not the way to go about it. After reading that particular post I regretted starting this thread.
I can understand your frustration with the endo and DNA Fragmentation. The DNA issue is alleviated somewhat because you are using donor eggs the younger eggs pick up some of the slack. Has you hubby been put on a plan to help with it? If he isn't, there is a book which gives a list of supplements for men to take, it helps with motility and fragmentation, I can't remember the name of it, you might find it via google. It worked a treat on my ex.
As for the endo I too am shocked by the response it doesn't make sense, they need to know all of the issues we face to do IVF. I do know that you shouldn't have an op directly before you do a cycle but a month or so before isn't an issue, well not according to the FS's I have seen in Australia.
The clinic is getting busier and busier and as a result less personal I guess, by that I mean more will be forgotten or go amiss or unnoticed, we all need to speak up and don't take anything for granted, it may be In your notes but tell them again anyway don't feel you will be seen as trouble. We spend a great deal of money and they know it. Remember if you don't like what one Dr says, go with another, they all work individually under the CFC banner.
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